Eeek Let Out A Shriek!!

A Beginning Reading Lesson

By: Nikki Tucker  

Rationale: This lesson teaches children about the long vowel correspondence ee= /E/. In order to be able to read, children must learn to recognize the spellings map word pronunciations. In this lesson children will learn to recognize, spell, and read words containing the spelling ee. They will learn a meaningful representation (Sponge Bob shrieking), they will spell and read words containing this spelling in a Letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence ee=/E/.

Materials: Image of Sponge Bob shrieking; cover-up critter; whiteboard or smartboard Elkonin boxes for modeling and individual Elkonin boxes for each student; letter manipulatives for each child and magnetic letters for teacher: t, e, f, s, m, c, h, k, a, g, r; list of spelling words on whiteboard to read: tee, let, feet, seem, meet, den, cheek, free; decodable text:  The Mean Geese and assessment worksheet (see URL).


1. Say: In order to become expert readers we need to learn the code that tells us how to pronounce words. We have already learned to read short vowel words with e, like set, and today we are going to learn about long E and the second e that follows the first e to make the /E/ sound. When I say /E/ I think of Sponge Bob shrieking and saying "Eeeek" [showing graphic image]. Let’s look at the spelling of /E/ that we’ll learn today. One way to spell /E/ is with the letter e and another e following right after it. [Write ee on the board]. The two e’s together make a long E sound that you draw out.


2. Say: Before we learn about the spelling of /E/, we need to listen for it in some words. When I listen for /E/ in words, I hear e say its name /E/, and my cheeks lift up like I’m smiling with my teeth slightly apart. [Make vocal gestures for /E/]. I’ll show you first: sheet. I heard e says its name and I felt my face smile in an e [have kids put fingers where dimples would be to emphasize smile gesture]. There is a long E in sheet. Now I’m going to see if it’s in get. I didn’t hear e say its name and my mouth and cheeks didn’t smile to make e. Now you try. If you hear /E/ say, "Eeek I’m about to shriek." If you don’t hear /E/ say, "I don’t hear it, that’s not right." Is it in: shorts, boots, greet, dirt, teeth? [Have children put fingers where dimples would be if they were smiling to feel for the /E/ sound].

3. Now we are going to try to spell the word free. "The prisoner was set free from jail." In this sentence, free means to get out and live a full life. To put agree in letterboxes we first need to count the phonemes in the word. Let’s stretch it out: /f/ /r/ /E/. We need four letterboxes right?  The double e’s go in the same letterbox to make the /E/ sound. It starts with a /f/ sound so I need a f. Then there is an /r/ sound that comes right before the /E/ have to grrrowl to hear it. It sounds like an r. Now for our final letters that make the /E/ sound, the double e’s. Say "Eeeek."


4. Say: We are going to spell more words in the letterboxes starting with the two phoneme words. First we have tee. Tee is something that is used in golf to balance the golf ball on. "My dad hit his golf ball of the tee into the water." What should go in the first box? [Respond to students answers accordingly]. What letters go in the second box? Remember that our long /E/ sound has two e’s. Don’t forget the second e. [Walk around to observe individual progress the students are making]. Once everyone seems to have gotten the first word move onto the three phoneme words. Say: Let’s try a word that is a little bit harder that we use three letterboxes for. Listen for /E/ and remember the double e’s go in the same box. The word is feet, My feet are sore after hiking 10 miles today; feet. [Children spell remaining words: seem, meet, cheek, free]


5. Say: Now we are going to read the words you’ve spelled all together. The first one we will do together, seem. The first sound is /s/, like ssssnakes. Then we are going to "eeek" like SpongeBob with the /E/ sound in the middle and end it with the /m/ sound that we hear in mmmom. So all the together the word is /s/ /E/ /m/, seem. Now let’s do the same with our remaining words meet, cheek, and free. [Students read in unison and then call on individuals to read certain words to give everyone a turn]


6. Say: So far you have done really well and I’m pleased with how you have learned to spell /E/: ee. I have a book here called The Mean Geese. This is a story about some very unhappy geese that seem to love to scare everyone away from the creek. First they scare Scat, a cat, who gets mad. Then, they scare Lad, a dog. Eventually, Ben, Lad’s owner, gets tangled up in the geese mess and they might be after him too! Pair up to read and find out what happens with those mean geese. [Children pair up while the teacher walks around to monitor reading strategies then the class reads together and discusses the plot].


7. Say: To end the lesson today, I want to see how well you find the /E/ sound. On this worksheet, you need to circle the words that have the same long /E/ sound we’ve been learning about then circle the pictures that go with that word. Read all the words and choose carefully. Once you are finished double check to make sure your circled words match your circled pictures. [Collect to evaluate each child’s individual success]



Murray, G. (2011). Constructing BR_Lesson Design. Blackboard:

Murray, G. (2004) The Mean Geese. Reading Genie:

Assessment worksheet: Long Vowel E (ee) - Free Phonics Worksheet


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